“There’s what’s and there’s what’s right, and never the twain shall meet.”
Ah, can you really go wrong with the wisdom of “Raising Arizona’s” H.I. McDunnough?
Well, considering he did steal a baby, and later on some Huggies (no judgement H.I.), perhaps his thought process should be questioned just a bit.
Truth be told, we all love being right. Being told you are correct is one of the single greatest feelings in the world. In fact, I dare say the only thing that tops being correct, is being correct when someone who opposed you is told he or she is wrong.
Man, that’s better than finding an onion ring mixed in with your order of french fries.
The problem is that sometimes our desire to be right outweighs our desire to do right, and that can lead us to some dark places.
Sometimes those places are actual physical locations. You’ve been on that road trip, I’m sure.
“Gee, Dad. Disney World sure did look a lot less like a strip mall in Jacksonville on TV.”
Other times this attitude can lead us to dark places within our relationships with others, which is often a lot more miserable a place to be than that strip mall. (I mean, you never know. The strip mall might have a Roses, and that’s like getting a free history lesson.)
When we find ourselves in that dark place with other people, we often find it hard to be productive with them. We often find the entire relationship to feel like one huge argument that makes it impossible to find any sort of common ground.
There might not be a more important life skill to master than finding common ground. And no, this isn’t the same thing as comprising, so don’t freak out.
Finding common ground is all about finding a starting point, a place from which you and the other party can grow. You’re likely not going ditch your beliefs whole sale, and neither are they, but finding a place you can coexist is crucial for you both to be productive. It can also often be the key to finding some sort of compromise. Not always, but often.
I believe in Jesus. A lot of people don’t. But I can still find common ground with them.
Don’t love Jesus, but you do like fish sandwiches? Common ground, I’ve got a story about that.
Don’t like fish sandwiches, but you do like wine? Common ground, I’ve got a story about that too.
Not a big fan of fish sandwiches or wine, but you think it’s a good idea to treat others how you would like to be treated? Yeah, we can meet there as well.
Jesus seemed to do this a lot with people. He’d find some common ground with people — fishing, farming, or simply the fact that everyone likes a good meal — he would find a starting point with people from which to build on.
Today our federal government partially shut down, and while I am not nearly knowledgeable enough to dive into the politics of the situation, I do believe a big reason for the situation is that many of our leaders would rather be right, than do right.
Plenty of our leaders, both republicans and democrats, seem far more concerned with being labeled the winner of the debate, than finding some common ground from which they can together be productive.
While I probably can’t fix this situation, or their problems, what I can do is make sure I don’t mirror their actions in my own life.
What I can do is make sure my desire to be right, never outweighs my desire to do right.